Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2014

I recently completed my first running of the runDisney Walt Disney World Half Marathon and my 3rd half marathon overall, and celebrated my 44th birthday in the process. I have run this course before, as it is the same for the Princess Half Marathon, which was my first half ever. We had come up to the parks two days before the race to explore the expo and meet up with friends ahead of the run. I was not particularly excited for this race, having just run the Wind and Dine half just 2 months prior and didn’t do well. Not to mention that my training had not been at a level I had hoped. We were staying at Art of Animation in a Cars family suite, so I was able to get some rest while Christy and Emily were still up. I actually awoke ahead of my alarm clock, eager to get going. I got on the bus to Epcot and made my way to the Wonder lot before going out to my corral. The weather for January was much warmer than I was expecting so didn’t even use a jacket, just the long sleeve event shirt, which quickly got the sleeves pushed up! I was in corral “J”, which was a bit more than half way back. The race was started by conductor Donald Duck, and corrals progressed to the start line in 2 minute intervals, fireworks launching for each corral. 20140117-231959.jpgBy the time I got to the start line I was in full motivation to have a great race! I am not a constant runner, I use a walk and jog/run style, and by no means consider myself fast. I started off with an aggressive pace for myself, partly to build a time cushion, but also to find a spot in the crowd the was unobstructed. I made my way on to World Drive headed toward Ticket and Transportation. It is really an odd feeling to be running there, knowing it’s meant for carHalfMarathon14_Maps.

20140117-232017.jpgRunning up the tram tunnel at TTC was the first time I was greeted and cheered on by Christy and Emily; it really gives you a boost to see people you know cheering you on! Past TTC you run to what I consider one of the toughest parts of the course, the water bridge by the Contemporary Resort. Next, you make a hard left into the backlot of the Magic Kingdom in preparation to run down Main Street USA, the next place where Christy and Emily find me, along with seeing other friendly faces I know.

20140117-232029.jpg From Main Street, you go into Tomorrowland and circle back to Fantasyland then through Cinderella castle! The running through MK is great and highly magical, but unless you are in the front of the race, don’t expect to move quickly! Next is Liberty Square and Frontieerland, stopping for a few photos while in the park!

20140117-232048.jpgExiting out by Splash Mtn, you then take the back road by Grand Floridian, making the way back by The speedway and down World drive towards Epcot. At this point, I was still doing much better than the last time I ran this course, but was a little tired. Next is circling the exit ramp to Epcot and up the overpass across World drive. I got an energy rush when looking down World drive and seeing thousands of people still behind me! The course then heads into Epcot through the bus lot by Nemo, the next place my lovely ladies cheer me on! You come into Epcot in between Nemo and Spaceship Earth, running back to world showcase lagoon, then back to the front and out to the finish line in the parking lot, the course line by spectators cheering you the whole way! I kept pushing myself throughout, and finished at 3:12:32, shaving a little more than 13 minutes off my time from the last running of this course! Next up at Disney will be the Enchanted 10k at Princess weekend. I love running Disney and highly recommend it!